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Big Sisters Win on Day 1

The first round kicked off in Beijing and Alona Bondarenko and Venus Williams moved ahead.

Published October 03, 2009 12:00

Big Sisters Win on Day 1
Alona Bondarenko

BEIJING, China - The first round kicked off in Beijing on Saturday, as six matches took to the courts of the $4.5-million China Open, one of the biggest stops on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour calendar.

Venus Williams was the highest-ranked player in action and had to fight off a hefty second set deficit to get past Vera Dushevina, 62 76(1). Williams, the No.3 seed, went off in the second set, losing the first four games to go down 4-0; but she found her form again, capturing six of the next eight games and crushing Dushevina in the tie-break, building a 5-0 lead and barely looking back.

"The second set got away from me. I made too many errors, she made some great shots and I lost some games pretty quickly," Williams said. "It was really competitive tennis, but I was able to come back strong. I was always focused on the next game, keeping it close, making her feel uncomfortable and winning the set. I have unbelievable memories of playing here."

Other seeds in action were No.10 seed Flavia Pennetta, who survived a tight first set but eventually rolled over Chinese wildcard Han Xinyun, 76(2) 62; and No.15 seed Samantha Stosur, who dropped a 64 46 63 decision to former Top 20 player Alizé Cornet, who is currently ranked No.51 in the world.

Aleksandra Wozniak, Alona Bondarenko and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova also recorded first round wins on Day 1 of main draw play.

Also, Kateryna Bondarenko, Shahar Peer, Melinda Czink, Yaroslava Shvedova, Urszula Radwanska, Olga Govortsova, Alla Kudryavtseva and Ji Chun-Mei got main draw spots wins in the final round of qualifying.

Ana Ivanovic was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to an upper respiratory illness. She would have been the No.11 seed; now, Virginie Razzano is promoted to the No.17 seed.

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